Call-outs key to ending homophobia: Schutt

Megan Schutt. Photo: Getty
Megan Schutt. Photo: Getty

AUSTRALIAN bowler Megan Schutt says while the public’s response to Marcus Stoinis’ homophobic sledge has been encouraging, the incident shows the need for greater work to be done in the men’s game.

Melbourne Stars BBL allrounder Stoinis was fined $7500 but avoided suspension for a homophobic sledge towards Renegades player Kane Richardson.

James Pattinson was banned in November for a similar incident, although it was his third code of conduct breach in 18 months.

“I think men get heated in situations and it’s unfortunate that those words still slip out – but I don’t think there was actually any malice in it – or I like to hope not,” Schutt told AAP.

“But it’s also cool to see the reactions that have come out because it shows, in society as a whole, we’re trying to eliminate the use of those words definitely as insults, first and foremost.

“So I think that’s probably been the best part of it, is everyone saying that he’s got off lightly and those sorts of things – it shows we have a lot of people in our park, which is honestly really welcoming. It’s just nice.”

Schutt emphasised the importance of female cricketers being willing to call each other out on offensive language – something she felt was less prevalent in the men’s game.

Marcus Stoinis. Photo: Getty

“We call each other out with things like that and I think the males probably need to get better at that,” she said.

“In the (men’s) change room, I’m sure there’s not a lot of people calling each other out on the words they use.

“So until that changes, probably on-field, these things will still happen.

“But other words definitely can be used. We (women’s cricketers) have our own banter in our own ways. It’s a bit more subtle I guess than just screaming out insults – (that’s) a bit boring, really.

“But definitely, society as a whole, we’re obviously trying to really recognise that words hurt and there’d be some people that were really offended by that so, hopefully in time, they can change.”

Teammate Jess Jonassen said while Stoinis had been remorseful, she would like to see an “appropriate” sanction for homophobic language adopted.

“Things happen in the heat of the moment but I think if there can be ways going forward that we can fully stamp that out – stamping out homophobia – there’s obviously other things that you can probably say in the heat of the moment,” Jonassen told AAP.

“And he recognises that he made a mistake and, obviously, I think going forward we need to come up with some sort of appropriate sanction because you don’t want somebody who’s in a community cricket situation – or anybody else who’s wanting to put out there who they are as a person – to be afraid of being ridiculed like that.”